Australia Holds Master and Line Convicts Responsible for Pilot’s Ladder Fall Injuries.

Share it now

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has taken the unusual step of prosecuting and securing a conviction related to injuries suffered by a marine pilot. The Cyprus-flagged cargo ship AAL Dampier was departing the Port of Fremantle, Australia on August 24, 2022 when the pilot fell more than 20 feet from the ladder onto the deck of the pilot vessel, which was travelling alongside the ship. The pilot suffered serious injuries, and AMSA inspectors and specialist investigators boarded the cargo ship and determined that the ropes on the pilot ladder had parted, causing the pilot to fall. They seized a portion of the ropes, which they found to be seriously defective and in poor condition. 

AMSA called the condition of the ladder and its ropes “shocking”, and cited ineffective inspection maintenance procedures of the ship. The safety authority decided to prosecute the shipping company and the master of the vessel and secured the successful prosecution in the Perth Magistrates Court on May 23, 2023. AAL Dampier Navigation Co. pled guilty to an offence related to marine safety, and the master of the vessel pled guilty to two offences. The company was fined A$30,500, and the master of the vessel was fined a total of A$5,500. AMSA praised the result of the prosecution and hoped that the conviction would deter other vessels from compromising on marine pilot safety.

Marine pilots are exposed to higher risk during their work, and this was a clear case of breaching safety standards leading to injury. Prosecuting a shipping company and its master sends a signal that safety standards will be upheld, and the consequences of failing to do so could result in legal action. Marine pilots have a vital role in ensuring vessels travel safely from point-to-point, and it is crucial to meet safety standards to prevent serious injury. The AMSA, as a tough-but-fair regulator, will not hesitate to take action to prevent danger to human life.

Source .

Share it now